PhysioHealth Swift Carbon Cycling Team continues its swift improvement in National Road Series

The PhysioHealth Swift Carbon Cycling Team continued its run of great results in its inaugural NRS season at Canberra’s National Capitol Tour over the weekend. The tour included an 8 km individual time trial, 136 km mountainous road stage, an undulating 75 km city road circuit and 50 km criterium. The team taking on the hilly course and field of 150 riders, included Jason Lea, Callum Gordon, Mitchell Dedman, Trent Morey, and another stagier from New Zealand Jack Sowry. The goal for the tour was a podium finish for Jason Lea in the young rider classification and a top 10 finish in the team classification. The team classification is the accumulative time of the top three riders of each team in each stage, so with only five riders compared to seven riders in all others teams. The PhysioHealth Swift Carbon team would need to work extra hard to achieve their team aspirations, as well as give Jason the best shot of a podium finish. The first stage time trial on the Friday afternoon was a very technical course in a new residential development that started with a 4 km decent and finished with a 4 km climb averaging 6%. Once again Jason Lea put in an incredible effort to finish 17th with a time of 11min 15.82 sec, only 47 sec behind the winner.  Callum Gordon was next best for the team with a time of 11 min 52 sec. The Saturday road stage included three laps of a very hilly course, including the tough three sisters climbs. At the completion of three laps the riders finished at the top of the six km Corin Forest accent.  PhysioHealth Swift Carbon started the stage with Jason sitting in 5th place in the young rider classification and 12th overall in teams.  It is no exaggeration to say that the team put in their performance so far this year and confirmed that they need to be taken seriously.  Both Trent Morey and Jack Sowry were present in all the breaks that went up the road, with Trent picking up vital bonus points. Mitch Dedman was a fantastic domestique to both Jason and Callum. Unfortunately Jason was caught up in a fall and Mitch sacrificed his own results by waiting for Jason and pacing him back in to the peloton. This allowed Jason to get in to the final break of 10 and finish an incredible 8th.  This meant that Jason moved up to 3rd in the young rider and 7th in the General Classification. Just as important, Callum Gordon and Jack Sowry were not far behind the break so with three high placings the team now sat 4th overall, with only Avanti, African Wildlife and Charter Mason ahead. Sunday included a double header, with a 75 km road stage around the city of Canberra in the morning and a 50km criterium at Mount Stromlo in the afternoon. The strategy for both of these stages was to maintain both Jason’s individual classification and the team’s 4th place. The Canberra City road race was deceptively hard with undulating roads a feature of the National Capitol. The race was frantic averaging close to 50 kmh with a number of teams attempting to pick up bonus seconds to improve GC position.  A break of five riders escaped 30 km from the finish and got out to a lead of 2 minutes before the chase got serious. The chase was so hard that only a third of the field remained in the peloton with 5km to go.  At that point the break had been whittled down to 30 seconds, unfortunately a fall slowed the chase down and left Lucas Hamilton, 1st in the young rider classification, with a broken elbow and out of the race. Thankfully our riders avoided the fall and Mitch Dedman, Callum Gordon and Jason Lea put in strong efforts to finish with the peloton and maintain the team 4th place in the teams classification. Due to Lucas Hamilton’s misfortune, Jason moved up to second in the young rider classification three seconds behind Ben O’Connor. The final criterium stage on Sunday afternoon at Mount Stromlo was a repeat of the morning’s city road race only faster and thankfully no falls.  Once again Mitch Dedman, Callum Gordon and Jason Lea put in a great team effort to remain with the leading group and consolidate Jason in 2nd in the young rider classification and the team’s 4th place in the teams classification. Congratulations to Joseph Cooper and the Avanti Racing Team for winning General and Teams Classification. All results can be found at www.metarace.com.au
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